I am not a cat person. I’ve always had dogs. My husband, Ron, and I have three big dogs. My 85 year old father that lives with us often comments, after my 3 big dogs take over the entire sectional in the living room, ”everyone needs three big dogs!” Furthermore, I don’t understand people who don’t like dogs. It is beyond me. Likewise I’ve never truly understood cat people. Until now.
A few weeks ago, we had a bunch of good friends at the Casitas to work on the grounds. Yes, work. And play. Who can work hard and not play? Silly. We cut hiking trails, made trail signs, marked trails and so much more. We worked hard, and then we played. The weather was a perfect Dripping winter afternoon – sunny and 70 degrees. We relaxed late Saturday afternoon and enjoyed the sun.
We made dinner that evening in the Pavilion and welcomed a very unexpected guest. A CAT. For two and a half years, Ron and I have been working on these 13 acres and never had a stray cat. I’ve been fairly shocked. Locals that are “cat people” explain that there are many predators in the hill country and cats live a hard life, often short. I will say no more. But this night, we met the cutest, friendliest and warmest cat I’ve ever met. We were all immediately smitten. Even us non-“cat people”.
He was clean, white and grey fur with brown accents, and purred louder than I was talking and was surprisingly affectionate…like a dog. I fell in love. Our friend, Gina B., claimed him and announced she would be taking him home the next day when she left. We called him CAT because, quite honestly, we didn’t know if he would move on to a new place by morning. Would we see him again?
Sunday morning, we met at The Pavilion to cook up our bacon and eggs, and guess what? The CAT was there. And so excited to be with us yet again. After breakfast, we went for a hike to check out the new trails and markers….and the CAT hiked with us – for over an hour! He earned a name. Frank.
Frank Eck was a good friend of mine that passed away, far too early, in 2011 of ALS. Frank was one of the most generous, fun-loving, adventurous, caring and faith-filled people I’ve ever known. I spent most weekends for many years at his farm in Amherst, VA. On most occasions, there were more animals (cats and dogs) on site than there were friends and family that he would gather. I always brought my two dogs. He loved animals, especially dogs, and his sister Patsy was the cat person. All co-existed at Frank’s farm. I pray that all, humans and animals, co-exist at my Casitas. But I digress.
Frank, the friend, would lead hikes on Sunday mornings at his farm. We’d all be a bit “tired” from the night before, but we would go. We called them death marches do to being "tired". This Sunday morning, with Frank the Cat darting from tree to tree, we all hiked our version of a death march. The spirit of my friend Frank is ever present at The Casitas, so it’s quite appropriate that our CAT be named Frank.
This week, we took Frank to the vet, upgraded from dry food to canned, and we installed a kitty door on the office door. We are locked in on this guy. And he is set for life.
Come see Frank, the Cat. Give him some love. Even if you don’t like cats, you’ll like this one. Trust me. He’s got spunk. And he has the amazing spirit of his namesake.
Note: for those with cat allergies, Frank is not allowed in the Casitas. Our Casitas are cat dander free.